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How to Obtain California RN Licensure by Endorsement (Reciprocity)

I'm officially licensed as a RN in California! :) :) :)

Do you have your RN license? Are you looking for a way to become a licensed RN in California? Need a step-by-step guide and some tips in making this process go smoothly? Look no further!

I have been a licensed RN in New York State for more than a year now and decided to apply for reciprocity into California as a RN this year 2019 since I will be sitting for my Family NP boards later this year and intend on practicing as a NP in California.

If you are already registered nurse in another state (& passed the NCLEX) looking for a way into California, you are looking to obtain licensure by endorsement (reciprocity).

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Just a few side notes before we get started:

** I submitted my application on January 3rd and received my California License # on February 8th. I had to log into my application account online and check every day. I didn't get an email notifying me that I my endorsement application was approved.

** Numbers and dates to have handy: social security number, current RN license #, date you were granted RN license and when your RN license expires, start and graduation date from your RN program

** 2"x2" passport photo (you can upload it onto the online application)

** FINGERPRINTING LIVESCAN -- I went the livescan route by going to a livescan location in California which I was told helps speed up the application approval process (as opposed to the hard card processing method)

** Expect to spend $350 on the application itself, $30 to have your RN license verified through Nursys online, approx $70 for Livescan fingerprinting (cost depends on location), and whatever costs for transcripts to be sent to the Board of Registered Nursing

** You can start the online application and go back to it later to finish it up. Just make sure you remember your account log in and password.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> MAKE ME A CALIFORNIA LICENSED RN!!! <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

1.) Take a look at this website for an overview of the application process >>>

2.) Keep this "Online RN Endorsement Application Instructions" PDF open in a new tab or in a separate window >>>

* this is useful to follow along as you start your online application as it goes step-by-step each part of the online application

3.) Go ahead and APPLY ONLINE. Create an account and make sure you choose the "Board of Registered Nursing - RN" and the application is for "14- RN Endorsement"

4.) Go through the online application and keep that "Online RN Endorsement Application Instructions" next to your application window -- it's pretty straight forward once you start the application.

*** I wanted to touch upon the "Education History" section. Don't forget to read the section below if you completed your RN degree out of state. You must submit your OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS to California BRN. You can email official transcripts to Most schools have ways you can request for online transcripts through a third party vendor and you can receive personal emails for when the recipient opens and downloads your transcript. You can also mail official transcripts to their mailing address. Just don't forget to do this step!

***It also mentions submitting transcripts from schools where you completed general education course requirements such as anatomy and physiology, so in addition to sending my Columbia transcript where I completed my accelerated RN program, I also submitted transcripts from my undergrad and community colleges where I completed prereq courses for nursing school.

5.) Also wanted to highlight one other part of the online application -- FILE ATTACHMENTS

1. One recent 2" x 2" passport type photograph -- straightforward

2. Copy of completed Live Scan form (if you went through this route like I did) -- click on that link and it will show you a PDF to bring along with you to your Live Scan location. The PDF

should already have certain parts populated. Just fill in the rest of those blank spaces with

your information. There are three copies of the same page, I would just fill out that first

page and print it out to bring with you to the Live Scan location. You can check this website

for legitimate Live Scan locations -- The Live Scan

staff member will fill out the bottom portion of the page, keep a copy for yourself and

scan the page so it could be uploaded to your online endorsement application.

((if you decide to go through the hard card, you pay $49 for the card to be sent to your

location and you go to a fingerprinting location that has the ink for you to fingerprint -

then you mail it to CA BRN in Sacramento - I would suggest paying for tracking))

3. Copy of NURSYS.COM receipt for license verification. Just head over to that website and fill out the information, pay the $30 and upload the copy of the receipt to your application.

4 & 5. if needed

And there you have it! You are set to submit your application for RN endorsement!

You can keep track of when your application will be processed at this website:

I remember refreshing the page every day to see if they were finally looking at my application.

Some other tips/tricks:

  • California BRN highly suggests you submit the online application, but I also submitted a paper application just to cover my grounds (is that the right phrase? lol).


  • In a priority mail flat rate folder with tracking, I placed a copy of my receipt for my Endorsement Application, a 2x2 passport photo, receipts from schools I sent transcripts from (I also did sent official online AND paper transcripts), a copy of the Nursys license verification receipt, and a copy of my completed Live Scan form.

  • Was this super extra of me? Probably. The man who helped Live Scan me actually made this suggestion to send in paper application materials in addition to my online app. I also heard some things about the California BRN being a little disorganized or losing application material, so I wanted to make sure everything got to them one way or another. To my luck, my process went smoothly and I was able to obtain my California license within a little over a month after submitting the application!

  • Stay organized! Keep copies of everything in neat folders on your computer desktop for your reference.

  • Also another thing I am grabbing directly from the California BRN website that is useful information -- "Your first California RN license is issued for two birthdays, not two years, and will expire the last day of the month following your birth date. From that date on, it will expire every two years, if renewed timely. Once a California license number is issued, it will always remain the same number whether active, inactive or delinquent. If the license lapses and is later renewed, the same license number and renewal cycle will apply."

  • Yes, I am now currently a licensed RN in both New York State and California now!

I really hope this helps! If you have had experience with applying for RN License Endorsement (aka reciprocity) in California and have anything else to share, please feel free to comment below! Also, if I mentioned anything that. is incorrect or outdated, feel free to let me know through the comments below as well! THANKS!

Have a wonderful day, friends!!



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